From time to time I see posts on the Ubuntu Forums about whether the newer AMD graphics cards (R7, R9) will work with Ubuntu. To find out for sure, I requested and Canonical graciously provided an XFX "Dual Dissipation" R9 290X.
The answer is "Yes" and "No." "Yes" -- and very well -- if the proprietary driver is used with the video acceleration packages. "No" -- not really -- if the current open source driver is used.
xvba-va-driver, libva-glx1, libva-egl1, vainfo
- Install Ubuntu fresh from DVD and update.
- Test performance of the adapter using the open source Radeon driver
- Test installation of proprietary driver via Additional Drivers, packages required for hardware acceleration installed via synaptic (which I added when I installed).
- Reinstall Ubuntu fresh from DVD and update.
- Test installation of proprietary driver from the terminal. This included the packages required for hardware acceleration.
- Test the performance of the proprietary driver.
Performance of driver tested with:
- Video content from the web.
- An .avi file from my network, "Big Buck Bunny". This provides movement from slow to fast with textures that are easy to pick out.
- A DVD movie with complex "chase" scenes and complex background movement.
- Team Fortress 2 on Steam.
- GLMark2 from the Phoronix Test Suite.
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